Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 9, 2011 7:00am-8:00am EDT

7:00 am
from. i didn't see one so i decided to write a. that's why we get the book that i've produced. so, i also did not want to write a book on the origins of politics that told this traditional eurocentric or anglo centric story. not because i'm opposed to england or the west, but i think it's a distortion and it's one that's been taught still in a lot of the discourse that really begins with karl marx bases inland as the model for modernization. england present is edwards future. this is something that karl marx said. what you realize when you learn something about the history of england is it is a very peculiar country. in a number of ways that i will explain to you. and to expect other countries to replicate england's modernization path i think is highly unrealistic.
7:01 am
and, in fact, in my view it was china, china did not establish the first day. that happen in a lot of places in egypt and mesopotamia and the valley of mexico. but in my view the chinese established the first modern state. modern meaning not based on hiring your cousins and your friends to run the government, but based on civil service examinations, centralized administration. and they did this in the third century b.c. it's a historical achievement that i think a lot of people had not adequately recognized. so instead of starting with england or you know, greece and rome and then going through the magna carta and the rise of democracy in england, it seems to meet made more sense to start with china. china greeted the first modern state. why are others different? that's the basic background. there are three important baskets of political institutions that we need to think about.
7:02 am
the first is the state itself. the state is all about power. the state is the ability to concentrate power in the hierarchy and use it to impose rules over particular territory. in the developing world, and this again is why i think we sometimes take politics for granted. we assume that things will happen. like, long-term, i lived in firefox county for 20 years and the potholes always get to every spring. why did those potholes get feel but not in new guinea? there's a hidden social structure that provides these services and it doesn't party efficiently, at least in which county like firefox -- fairfax. i think that all of the antigovernment activists of which there are many, especially in our society, don't understand that if you want a country that doesn't have a strong
7:03 am
government, that's able to enforce rules, you want to move to somalia or afghanistan or less developed country that cannot enforce rules on its own territory. somalia if you want to own not just an assault rifle when an rpg or a shoulder fired antiaircraft weapon, you are free to do. it's not a very happy society because it doesn't have institutions. that's the state. second is the rule of law. the rule of law is all about community rules of justice that are regarded as superior to the will of whoever happens to be running the government, whether that is a president, a prime minister, 18, monarch, whatever. the executive in the society doesn't feel that he or she can just make up the rules on the fly, whatever they want. they accepted implement a law that someone else makes. so that's the second set of important institutions. the '30s institution of accountability. today we associate those with democracy and elections.
7:04 am
but that's not the only form of accountability. in any event, when accountability institutions were first put into place in 17th century england, the king was accountable to parliament that are represented% of english population, and richest 10%. you can have accountability without having democracy. and i believe as in china and you can also have moral accountability. that is to say that government can feel obligated to take the interests of its citizens into account even in the absence of election. the question is where did these come from? the state is all about the concentration of power. the rule of law and accountability are all means of limiting power. the miracle of modern politics is that you get the president of the united states who is the most powerful individual of human history and nuke the rest of the world if he wants to, but he doesn't because it's all limited by law and accountable political institutions, the kind
7:05 am
of miracle of modern politics. so i'm going to tell you a few stories from the book in each of these baskets. let's begin with the state. the state in some senses in my view a big struggle against the family. human nature tells you a couple of things. there's a universal human natu nature. and there are a couple of biological principles that govern human social ability. we sometimes get this incorrect notion from hobbes that before the rise of the state you have to pashtun people rubbing over the head but that was never true. humans as i said what the. they're always social and our social because they're born with certain characteristics that allow them to cooperate. one of them is principle called inclusive fitness by the biologist which simply means you're going to be altruistic in proportion to the number of genes you share with them. in other words, nepotism. you're going to favor relatives.
7:06 am
the second principle is reciprocal altruism. you scratch my back, i'll scratch your. on a face-to-face basis. no human child growing up anywhere has to be taught these mechanism. these are inbuilt. there is the default way that we relate to each other. friends and family. and in the absence of a modern institution that forces you to hire somebody with the qualifications rather than your cousin or your brother-in-law, that's the way you're going to do it. that's the kind of normal politics that will insert itself. so in a sense states arose emphasized of organized tribally meaning people were in large kin groups, they all believed their descent from a common ancestor that they're basically third, fourth, fifth cousins. how do you get from a state that is based on kinship as a form of social to invest based on citizenship in which it's not a matter for your related to come it's the fact i am a citizen of
7:07 am
the state of france or japan or whatever. so that's why there's a struggle, constant struggle, especially those biological urge to protect your children. how did this happen? in china it unfortunately happened as a result of centuries long military conflict. there's a famous political scientist who was famous for arguing in the case of europe and that the state makes war and war makes the state. it's really military competition that drove people out of tribal societies into these more organized hierarchical units. and if you look at chinese history, that is exactly the story that unfolds. so at the beginning of the western dynasty in lebanon to be see, these tribes come in from injury. they conquer. at that point they're split up into baby 3000 tribal groups. in the spring and autumn very they fight about 1200 with one
7:08 am
another. in the warring states they fight about 450 worst that the number is reduced only because so many states were snuffed out and conquered at this point that there just aren't as many states to fight this war. finally, this process window standards are seven surviving states, and finally india 221 b.c. the state of june, this powerful western state manages to come to all of its rivals and it established the first unified chinese dynasty. and as in europe, another 18 are just later, the driven by the warfare. first were fighting with aristocrats writing choice but to find out if you can strip peasants and craig and infantry army you do a lot better. in order to do that, you need resources so that requires an of bureaucracy in order to attract and unique game administered hierarchy to run the publishing. this is what the chinese do.
7:09 am
they figure out if you hire ache in your cousin to be a general, as lincoln did all these patronage appointments early on in the civil war, you're going to lose the war. so you'd need a different principle. you need an impersonal merit-based principle. this is what the chinese did. than the first ones to come up with a civil service examination as a means of entry into the government. they did this in the third century b.c. but, unfortunately, it didn't last. the great dynasty saw the flourishing of centralized high quality government. it falls apart in the third century a.d. for a number of reasons, and what happens, it's repacked among allies. many aristocratic fans, people with wealth and power recapture the cover. discontinues really through other dynasties. this modern chinese state that had been stabbed already in third century doesn't get put back into place really until
7:10 am
about 1100 or so in the northern. it so the struggle goes on for a very long time. now, the weirdest institution designed to create a powerful state and to be to back them is a system of military slavery that developed during the second big dynasty, and was carried to its logical conclusion by the ottomans. what the ottomans did, every three or four year is they would send out a group of people into the balkan provinces of the empire, like football scouts they would look for young men between the ages of 12-19. they would forcibly taken from their families and they would raise them as slaves in the palace. but they would train them to be senior military officers and administrators, and, indeed, the prime minister of the ottoman
7:11 am
empire. why did they create this strange institution? by the way, the people recruit in this fashion were not allowed to marry and they were not allowed to have children. if they did have children to either expelled from the court or from the core and the children were never allowed to rise to positions of states. why did they do it? all because of the family. no, which allow people in the late positions to have children, what is going to want to do? they want to secure positions for their children. the ottomans understood a modern administration has to be based on loading people by merit and, therefore, if you allow them to the families yo you would be abe to do this and you would create an effect and one generation aristocracy. the whole ottoman system began to collapse the moment these interest groups took the opening cause by famine and rising inflation in the 17th century
7:12 am
to start demands their children be allowed to assume their positions. this is a general problem in france. old regime france, before the french revolution. they face exactly the same problem there that believes that potentially could oppose the king. so what did they do, what to the french marquis do? they sell offices, they sell the office of tax collector or finance minister to wealthy individuals. this actually had an important impact in breaking up the opposition to the centralization product of louis the 14th and these other great monarchs. but again, this desire to turn public, first of all there's a desire to privatize public office your you want to grab as much of the public sector as you can, and then in the early 1600s, under an institution called paulette, it became permissible for these wealthy individuals and to turn them
7:13 am
over to their children as charitable properties. along with the ch√Ęteau and all this, you would also get the position of some public office. so by the time of the revolution, the entire french public sector had essentially been sold off to wealthy individuals. again, this constant struggle, you can create a modern state under the circumstances, and one of the things the revolution did was basically divested all of these old elites of not just a property and offices, but their heads in a lot of cases, and it took a violent revolution to eliminate that system. let's talk about the rule of law. so this is a second really important basket of institutions. as i said, the rule of law our limitations. they are rules that limit the discretion of rulers, to do as they were. where does this come from? in my view historically it's always come out of religion.
7:14 am
because if you think about it, religion is the only source of rules that is outside of politics where rules are actually limited by rules that they themselves don't make. this is true in many civilizational conditions. it's true of ancient israel. it is true in a christian tradition but it is true in the world of islam, and it is true in india under hinduism. and every one of these societies, you have a religious law that is made by religious authorities, interpreted by hierarchies of religious judges. and in all of these cases for the rule action has to go to the religious authority to get sanctions. in india you have to be sanctified. there's a clear status, distinction, and it is the priest that is on top of the water in a society.
7:15 am
so that's rule of law. that's what we mean by will of law. the only world civilization that did not have rule of law in this sense is china. and the reason i believe the chinese never had this kind of rule of law was they never had a transcendental religion. that ancestor worship but it's actually amazing to think chinese got to be those of us could with such a primitive religion because ancestor worship, you're not required to worship the emperor's ancestors. you will have to worship your ancestors so there's no kind of authority. so no chinese emperor has ever felt that there is a higher source of law and that they have to obey. and that continues to the present day. chinese communist party, they have a constitution but they make the constitution. the constitution doesn't really limit what they want to do. now, in the west the rule of law developed very early and very powerfully. one of the heroes in my book,
7:16 am
the classic modernization theory, all like the reformation, i like the catholic church but. and a couple of important historical respect. in terms of the rule of law the church was explaining important. one in the post carolingian theory, in the early church of bishops and priests marry and beget children. and guess what did it? they all start to turn it benefits his own to the children they can't fault in politics but they're all wrapped up in the clan shenanigans of all the local princes of italy and germany. and you had at one point in the late 11th century the rise of pope gregory the second was a titanic historical figure. very much like martin luther would come after him by a few centuries, who realizes that in less the church itself eliminated this biological principle of being able to have children than it would not have moral authority to becoming
7:17 am
independent institution. furthermore, at that point all the bishops in the church of england pointed by the emperor so the church did not have control over its own personnel policy basically. so he declared that the church is independent, they're going to a point of bishops and all the priests and bishops have to be celibate. they cannot marry, they cannot have children. this, of course, comes as something of a surprise to all of these married priests. they don't like it is a huge struggle within the church. and it's an even bigger struggle with the emperor is emperor wants to keep the church as his legitimating source of authority. they fight a two generation were. the allies and the pope versus the allies of the emperor. and at the end of this period the church achieved independence. and at that point they can establish a separate ecclesiastical law presided over by bishops and priests appointed only by the church, and first
7:18 am
floors are all ecclesiastical floaters. the whole idea of bureaucratic government by legal specialists are really a creation that happens first in the church, and then gets transferred to the secular realm. and it also in the christian west provides church and state at this very early point. the legal authorities have legitimacy is as a separate hierarchy that is completely independent of european growth. this is actually important for subsequent european development because any european road that wants to be like a chinese emperor and just do whatever the hell he pleases has to contend with the fact there's a pre-existing pre-existing set of legal constraints that prevent him or her from doing that. the final basket of institutions are institutions of accountability, a.k.a. democracy. so you sometimes get the idea, and i think this comes from fashionable and idea of equality
7:19 am
gets out its unstoppable and just happens. but i think one of the things that you realize when you look at the actual history of the rise of democracy is just how weird and in a way contingent its emergence was. and it arose really because of the survival of a peculiar feudal institution into modern times which was called the parliament. every european country in the middle ages had a body called and and state, parliament, a sovereign court against things they were the cortez. in poland and hungary they were in the diets. all of these were collections of notables, high nobility, sometimes the bourgeoisie and the king traditionally had to go to these bodies to get permission to wage war, and especially to collect taxes. in the late 16th, 17th century jet all of these
7:20 am
powerful monarchs who wanted to behave like a chinese emperor. they want to put a centralized, powerful bureaucratic realm in which everything was uniform. and he waged his long struggle against these estates in every single country. and only in one of them did the parliament or the states win that battle, and that was england. in a sense it shows you how accidental history is. parliament didn't prevail in france. it didn't prevail by the way because the french had sold off all of these offices for wealthy individuals. and so once they took care of, you take care of me and my family, i'm fine with everything else. were not going to defend our liberties. the french interpreted liberty as privilege. but it did happen in spain. it certainly didn't happen in russia where the czar basically recruit the entire nobility into his own military organization.
7:21 am
it did happen in england for a very peculiar reasons, because parliament for overwriting of reasons had a lot of solidarity. they hung together. not only did they hang together, they raise an army. they fought a civil war with the king. they defeated him. they cut off his head. this was charles the first, the 16 '40s. in 1688 they deposed another king, james the second and brought in william of orange to be the new monarch. because of this whole issue that they did not want to be taxed without parliamentary consent. so what just happened in this one island nation you get this powerful parliament that is able to force a constitutional summit on the monarch. founder to the american founding is a really short distance because john block was a participant in the events of the course revolution. and he wrote the second his own government justifying rule as
7:22 am
something that has to come out of the consent. they needed. >> revolution which is based on the principle no taxation without representation. so the distance from those english events during the english civil war and our own founding as a country based on democratic consent issue not a long distance at all, but it wouldn't have happened if a company been colonized by spain, and, indeed, in latin america didn't happen on that timescale, and it didn't result in a powerful commercial empire the way england evolves, except for this balancing of rule of law, accountable government, and a strong state. so this is a miracle, this is how this miracle happen. but if you think about it there is no necessity, there is no historical driving forces that dictated that it's would be the outcome. once even got there it was very
7:23 am
powerful model, and other people wanted to imitate it. but the fact that got there in the first place was a kind of historical accident. in china because the state was so powerful at such an early stage in the history they never allowed three cities or bourgeoisie or blood aristocracy, or opposing religious groups to appear. and they don't do it to this day. and they control because it is a potential source of opposition to the regime. let me just conclude with a couple of observations about how this is relevant to understanding politics. so let's begin with india and china. so, every business school for the last 10, 15 years have been doing these emerging market courses and contrasting india and china. when china wants to build the three gorges damn death in the 1.2 by people out of the floodplain. they just do it. they say we're going to do it. people kick and scream and there's lots of unhappiness but they do and how people are moved
7:24 am
out. they build and damn -- they build a dam. turnpikes, infrastructure. because they have history strong and relatively high quality authoritarian government that does not need to respect the interests of citizens. in india, just to give you one example, a motor company couple years ago want to establish a car assembly plant in west bengal. so what happened was that it it with lawsuits. peasant associations, trade unions, the ongoing strike protesting the citing of this plant the. and, finally, coming of them were not going to do. they put the plant elsewhere. and so in india you've got a real problem with basic infrastructure because they're divided law governed democracy. there are checks and balances that the indians they can't do anything it wants because it evolves in this fashion where law and accountability are
7:25 am
actually much more important. a lot of people will say this is inheritance of british colonialism, or something that happened in the last couple hundred years in the history of these countries. and i think having written this book, i now understand that this is total nonsense. these reflect patterns of government that are at least 2500 years old. since the unification of china in 221 b.c., the country has fallen apart in into dynastic periods, but it always has come together and have spent more time as unified authoritarian country governed by a single authority that it has in a state of disunity. india is almost mirror opposite. it's been unified for two brief periods, under two empires when the british invaded and sought to will into, none of them were
7:26 am
able to extend the rule through the whole of the subcontinent. for the fact that india is a democracy i don't believe has deep historical roots. but the fact that it is not a chinese style dictatorship is absolutely not accidental. nobody in indian history has ever been able to rule india in that kind of authoritarian fashion, because any society is way too tough. it's organized in village associations and very powerful religious groups, all of which have resisted getting political effort to dominate. the final thing, i mentioned that i think the eurocentric accounts of modernization don't understand how peculiar european modernization is. i think that's important to remember when we try to modernize, three development assistance countries in the third world, third world today.
7:27 am
how was european development peculiar? first of all, the exit from kinship was again not done by a state, by a powerful state that demanded that people have allegiance to it. it was done by the catholic church. the church at the end of the roman empire said rules of inheritance before beta concubines, they forbade divorce. they forbade marriage up to five degrees oven related cousins. and all of these were means of cutting off the ability of clients, a tribal groups to keep property within the clan. and they also support the right of women to holding a unique property. this very, very early stage in the middle ages. they did this for self-interested reasons. because they wanted to break the economic power of the survivor groups, and it worked beautifully. it turns out a lot of widows and
7:28 am
spinsters in this period in and up with all the money in the family. when he died without children, guess who inherited all that money. it was the catholic church. churches holdings in france go up by 20, 30% in the first part of the eighth century as a result of these changes in the rules. and it means that individualism started in europe at a much, much are your point. it was the product of the industrial revolution for the restoration or anything like that. within two or three generations of their conversion to christianity, all these barbarian tribes were already no longer living in describe associations. and in england it gets carried to the extreme where if you were a parent you turned over your fortune to your son before you died without having signed a maintenance contract, you could be in big trouble because the kid could just say sorry, dad, i got my own business to worry
7:29 am
about and i'll try to take care of you. it's not a priority. and so in english families, already in the 1300s, you're having families signed contracts with each other because you could not rely on children to take care of your children, their parents in old age. so already that presents a huge amount of individualism, you know, that we are not bound by what was called the tyranny of cousins in which everything is within this big conglomeration of relatives. we are much more individualistic early on. and then finally, the sequence of developing and europe goes like this. it goes first rule of law, then you construct a powerful centralized state, and only later do you get democratic accountability. but law comes before the state-building. in the early modern european moderates who want to create an chinese style the states had to do this against a background of existing laws that limited their
7:30 am
ability to exercise power. final anecdote i believe he was is my favorite historical character that is recounted in this book, the evil empress wu at the evil empress wu was the only woman in chinese history whoever establish a dynasty in on him as a to one of their son or husband. she came early in the tong dynasty in this eccentric. she was originally a call to bind of the second tong emperor. she got into his graces and she displace the existing empress by having her own daughter with an audience with the empress and then smothered. the death was blamed on empress and the emperor got rid of her and made madam wu the new empress. she killed a couple of her own sons in her rise to power, and she managed to kill of a great part of the tong mobility that
7:31 am
stood in the way of her rise to power. it didn't do much for women's empowerment, unfortunately, in china. there's actually a plaque somewhere in the forbidden city that warns against women and politics after the experience of the evil empress wu. the reason i tell the story is the contrast, you a couple of big revolts in 15 '20s. there's a thing called a revolt against the great emperor charles the fifth. they fought a civil war in essence for a few years. the emperor one. defeated his enemies. there's a similar civil war in france where 30 years later understood the 14th again, they fought a very bloody civil war. making defeated his aristocratic those but in both of those cases are remarkable charles the fifth and limit the 14th basically
7:32 am
pardoned their noble opponents and they go back to their estate and live happily ever after. if this had been china, the emperor would have killed those aristocratic opponents and then killed off every member of the lineage of those opposed to make sure that the rope of dissent was broken. and so i do think that the early presence of law in european development really did make some difference in terms of the kind of authoritarian government you could actually create. of course, to do these horrible, totalitarian governments of the 20th century were a result of modernization, you undermine all of the authority of these traditional forms of law. so, this is the book -- it's not about. it's a small part of the book, but i guess what i've learned in the 20 years since the end of history is that the whole process by which we get to modern liberal democracy, which
7:33 am
i do believe is really the only realistic alternative for modern society was actually based on an awful lot of accidents. and in a sense, good luck. and it means that if we try to create similar institutions in other societies that have had similar experiences, it's a hard process. thank you very much. [applause] >> what a rich presentation. may be nominally a political scientist, but lots of historic sensibility. and one of the things you ought to note is that francis fukuyama has been in public service. he's been one of those who has tried to let government have a longer range outlook than governments have by serving on the state department of policy planning staff twice, and as the
7:34 am
deputy under dennis ross. and as you know, there's been a distinguished group of people who have served as head of the state department policy planning staff. george kennan, san luis, winston lord, robert bluey, dennis ross, people have a passion for of that service as does francis fukuyama. so let's begin with questions. >> that was a wonderful overview, and maybe this question is too specific and not general enough. but you begin by saying how do we get to the denmark. and there is now a divide opening between england and us, and europe. their vision of the state involves a lot more state responsibility to take care of retirement, and organize health. and we seem to be going in exactly the other direction.
7:35 am
is there something in your theory that speaks for the? >> have to wait for volume two for that point. last night it's a very good question. it is a volume to kind of issue, but most of what i know about this subject i learned from the great sociologists and political scientist who wrote a very excellent book called american exceptionalism, which is a book about why the united states is a peculiar when you compare it to other developed countries. and one of the important ways it's different is we don't trust government. just don't trust government. in europe people see the government as the embodiment of the public interest, something you look up to and you respect because it represents public interest in the united states it's always been regarded as something that potential is oppressive. it was argued that comes out of the american revolution basically because the u.s. was born in a revolt against
7:36 am
overweening monarchical power, and that's in a way stuck with this. and then i think the other issue is that since america was a land of settle for europeans, not for the indigenous people who have been living here, but for the new settlers. it does have a much greater degree of social mobility so that you can arrive, and at least if he didn't make it come to her children or grandchildren could rise in economic status. and that i think reinforces this american view that if you are poor it's because you haven't worked hard enough but if you're rich it's because you're industrious and 30. there's enough truth to that but i think it reinforces american kind of willingness and to have state put you ahead. it onto the individuals doing it on your own.
7:37 am
>> i have a question center state department used to talk about the process. but there's one element you have a brought up, and that's the issue of technology and the spread of information. and i suspect it's going to be in the second volume. but i wonder if you could speak to the printed because it seems to me that we may be at the end of history moment where information technology has radically changed. a lot of the underlying theories of some of these arguments i think -- >> well, i think there's been this important change with the social media, for example. so it played a big role in the air of spring. it's very mobilizing people come and social mobilization is really critical for producing democratic change. what's not clear to me is whether it is as good introducing institutions down the road as it is this kind of
7:38 am
short-term mobilization. if you look at tunisia or egypt right now, but they desperately need is not more social mobilization. they need political parties, leaders, free media. all of these institutions that make civil society powerful and able to stand up and demand things from the governed. technology can help with it. it certainly can help with that but i think it is not kind of the panacea that some people see it as being. >> i was referring more in the sense of transcending the other inherent problems, you know, the information can overcome some of these things that we didn't have before. that was more the nature of my point. thank you. the. >> okay. >> for the second volume you might want to check some other authority than lipsett. since the end of the second world war, the --
7:39 am
[inaudible] the have been demonstrably higher than ours. presumably because of the welfare state of educational investment. spent lipsett did not assert actually that mobility was higher. he said he believed it was higher. >> yes. i have a question which represents professional, the professorial definition. you are one of the people, the social scientist who do, every campus has one for better or for worse, some have two, three, four. and yet this city is full of tens of thousands of university graduates, highly educated in the federal bureaucracy, even in the armed services. general petraeus is extremely proud of his princeton ph.d. and yet if you look at the
7:40 am
results one of, in terms of policy derivatives and what we think they might have learned in our universities, the results are far from sublime. what's your comment? [laughter] >> well, as a professional educator, i don't want to denigrate the impact of university education. i think some of my students are here as we speak. did you learn anything? [laughter] okay, see your however, let me make this comment. i actually think that the direction that a lot of the social sciences moved in the last 20 years has not been helpful because it's basically been taken over by economics. and so actually one of my agendas of writing this book
7:41 am
full of history is to remind people that they can't understate the wave the contemporary world is in less they know more history. you can't do things but game theoretical models and aggression alone. i think one of the reasons a lot of contemporary american sciences have not been terribly useful to policy makers is because it's now moved into this abstract realm where people don't know about real places and, therefore, they can't tell you what do you do in flash to understand when you're confronted with these tribes because nobody has bothered to learn languages or spent time in villages and ashley figure out what's going on there. so i will grant you that. of course, my students spend time in these villages and they are big exceptions to this general rule. [inaudible] >> fellow students like henry kissinger were simply awful. so congratulations.
7:42 am
[laughter] [inaudible] >> hi. in the end of history in -- "the end of history and the last man" do you argue that liberal democracy represent the input of history, capital h. history, which is to say that unlike previous stage of history does not contain within itself the seeds of its own destruction and doesn't have a central contradictions that it destroyed all others. in the first chapter of your new book you touch on some disturbing things in our culture, the notion amongst a lot of people do, is simply bad and not needed. the stratification of wealth,
7:43 am
the rise of corporations. in the 20 years since you published the end of history, have you have reason to doubt that we are, in fact, at the end of history, or do you think we might be seeing the destruction of what without was the end of history to spawn something new? >> well, i -- a couple of different parts of the answer to that so i have been thinking a lot in the last 20 years. i haven't sat still. one of the important means in the current book is one i pick up from huntington's which is the possibly of little decay. because one thing you see very clearly is that you create institutions for one set of purposes. and then people invest what kind of intrinsic worth either through religious sanctification or historical tradition, or whatever, and in the circumstances change and institutions need to be changed, they become dysfunctional.
7:44 am
i would say we have a problem right now in the united states because we face certain long-term challenges, fiscal sustainability of the where we are and so forth. and our political system is so checked and balanced and it's so polarized, the underlying political culture is so polarized that we can't make basic decisions. and if indeed we cannot solve these problems there's a reason to think that our particular american democracy is going to do all that will. it can certainly decay over time. now, that's a slightly different question from the one i raised in "the end of history" which is okay, in theory can you think of a better political system that would solve these problems. and right now i think the one that is out there is authoritarian, you know, capitalist china. and for a number of reasons i think they're on a roll right now, but i don't actually believe that that system is sustainable over a long period
7:45 am
of time, compared to a system like ours that has checks and balances. largely because i don't think the chinese have ever solve this problem they themselves called the bad emperor problem, which is to say that if you have an authoritarian system without checks and balances and you have a good emperor, you are sitting pretty. you can make quick decisions, much faster than a democracy that has to get consensus and agreement and so forth, interest groups and that sort of thing. but if you have a bad emperor you're in big trouble because there's a way of getting rid of that person. the evil empress wu are the first chin emperor was a maniacal guy that buried 400 confucians dollars in an open pit because he didn't like what they were saying about him. you get these -- and not the time was with the last bad emperor i think most chinese would acknowledge that you don't get that in democratic system because we do have checks and
7:46 am
balances. so in that respect i still vote with our system, for all of its current problems. >> you dated the importance of the law in the church to the eighth century -- >> no, that was the end of the family. the 11th century. >> okay. that shoots the question because i was wondering, because we have been told that charlemagne saved civilization, and if it already had the foundation of the laws in the eighth century, he would have been -- he did not have t the. >> no. >> okay, miss understood you. >> congratulations on the book and your success. i want to ask somebody who believes that you may very correct predictions the year before the end of communism in asia and europe and also "the
7:47 am
end of history," it had father of two persons before me pretty much asked the question that i want to cut emphasize a little more. i say we don't want war. we don't want chaos. we cannot have democracy and free markets in the arab world in iran and china all at the same time. that's obvious. it is something you would recommend to policymakers right now in the united states? also have to deal with a lot. no, she would be not afraid of things we want democracy and free markets to prevail? obviously without chaos, without wars. >> absolutely. will, i believe that historically the united states is always regarded as part of its national identity virtually to be not just, we have in the democratic in north america, but we are kind of a model to other people. we believe this is based in universal human rights and rules of justice.
7:48 am
and we have, we have promote democracy all over the place. my abjection during the iraq war was we shouldn't do it militarily. not to be based on people in these societies that want democracy, and there's plenty of ways we can level up the playing field when they are facing very oppressive authoritarian regimes. so that means was different. and also, you know, i do believe that an american democracy per se was the model for democracy as such. in many ways the european union represents a more active version of what the invitation would look like because they want to transcend power, politics or place power by rules and so forth. how does india's policy in kashmir fit in with its image of a democracy? like 75,000 as unaccounted in
7:49 am
the past few decades. >> i'm not going to act as a spokesman for the indian government. i don't know what you're doing this in kashmir. democracies do a lot of dumb things. look at american foreign policy, and you see that we make a lot of mistakes in the world as well. the other thing is that just because a country's democracy doesn't mean it puts the promotion of democratic values first and foremost in all aspects of its policy. we support saudi arabia because they've got oil. not because they're a democracy. just a fact of life. so, you know, i think -- and it's interesting actually that a lot of newer democracies like india, turkey, brazil, are also different from the united states because they don't regard rejection of democratic fund around the world the same, as the same imperative that americans do. it's interesting, why not that's
7:50 am
the case. >> everyone who is in line gets to ask a question. >> this is a volume three question. given the super national organizations, u.n., world trade, organization, the world court and a whole bunch of regional organizations, can i coax you into commenting on the prospects of the world state? >> oh, sure. [laughter] i think that prospect is zero. [laughter] i mean, i just think that, you know, if you look at comment if you look at a political system, it has to be based on some minimal degree of consensus about basic rules of justice, of values, and so forth.
7:51 am
and in a big diverse democracies like the united states we're having a lot of trouble with that. in rural louisiana people think differently from san francisco where, you know, close to where i live. it's hard enough to manage that within an american context, but when you start talking about the diversity of levels of development and cultures and everything else that exists in the world, i think it's not a reasonable prospect. this is something i wrote about in my last book, "america at the crossroads," which you can hope for is a much denser system of partial organization that overlap and some are regional and some are functional, and they provide a global government. but not through single world government. >> this question may sound a little eurocentric and i apologize, but i think at the end of the middle ages with the
7:52 am
treaty, we sort of established between nationstates and agreement that the sovereignty of the nation state was the number one sort of legal issue in relation to states. and i think that sort of governed at least in theory the relations between states. it seems until very recently. do you think that in the post-world war ii order that the idea, the responsibility to protect often trumps the right to sovereignty for a state? which seems to be accelerate in the postwar order, especially with russia justifying intervention in georgia by sort of normative example of the west intervened in kosovo. do you think we're moving into a post westphalian system between nationstates? >> i don't think we're ever that deeply. in the 19th century you may have had that just in your. if you think about the 20th century, you of all these marxist, leninist burning man trying to undermine other states
7:53 am
in the name of communism revolution. you have the united states trying to do the same thing except in anti-communist direction. and mid-20th century i don't think anyone respect is already terribly well. and as an ethical matter i think that, yeah, there's an important argument that you can make that if you really believe in the west billion system, it produces is certain of modernization and international relations because it means you're not going to try to get involved in the internal politics other neighbors and destabilize them. but i just don't think we live in that kind of a worker globalization means ideas, people influences are just out across borders all the time. these ideas weekend seal countries off and say we're not touching them, i don't think it's realistic. >> fight. i took your class back in 1999. hi. so, i read the book, i think
7:54 am
about an e-mail but he didn't get back to me. [laughter] i read the book and, you know, perhaps i said you wrote about sort of attitude come but i read it sort of grand reputation and very, you know, very historically reference reputation of libertarian ideology. what with a continued emphasis on how institutional decay or civilizations kind of live and die on their ability to tax. interestingly which you don't mention. i think that was like one of putin's big speech they rise and fall into ability to tax legitimately. >> legitimately, yes, as opposed to the current system we have right now. so i was wondering about that and also generally since you know longer live in d.c., has that changed your opinions about
7:55 am
things? >> well, it's made me much more accountable in the summer. [laughter] know, but i think the issue of taxation is really important because i think that it is, you know, the hallmark of a series government that is able to legitimately tax and people are willing to pay taxes in order to support public services. and so i think one of the unfortunate elements that was done in dark ideological mix as a result of reaganism was this review that in some quarters that basically all taxation is illegitimate, or that you can never under any circumstances raise taxes and so forth. i don't think you're ever going to have serious country if that's your starting assumption. so, so i am not, yes, you're right. i'm not a libertarian. and i will talk to but i have
7:56 am
been busy. [laughter] >> you described in tribal societies a precursor to the state. what relevance does that they are to countries like libya where tribes are still tremendously important? >> it turns out that we've discovered to our dismay that there are many societies in the middle east that are organized tribally. you know, when we stumbled into anbar province, we simply didn't realize that you had to go to the shake and get him to agree on behalf of the tribe rather than trying to organize elections and all this other stuff that americans want to do. and i think one of the big tunisia in and egypt have had national identities and much more modern political systems than, let's say, yemen or libya
7:57 am
or even jordan in which tribalism is still extremist on that one of the things we said we didn't even know about libya is the degree to which the current conflict, you know, represents authoritarian versus democracy or whether it is a fight between gadhafi stride and another try. that's one of big changes of the risks. i think we still had to do it because i think if you been able to crush in gaza it would've been terrible. but that being said, we just don't know a lot about that society and how it's organized. >> to my friend jonathan asked -- he had his hand up. >> go to the mic so everyone can hear you. this is on c-span. >> to have to come to the mic. [laughter] >> don't have trouble with authority.
7:58 am
[laughter] >> thank you. frank, you alluded to charles tilly and i understand, and agree with much of what you say about that, but what you have another do and i'm not offering another generalization that you have to venture into, is how does the phenomena and war and interstate were in particular affect the evolution of systems as you see it? or is that something that spee-2 it drives state-building but it doesn't cease to drive state-building after you get a state. it continues like you look at this city. there's this big five sided building sitting next to the potomac river. where did that come from? where did the growth of the big federal government, you know, before the civil war, the population of the city was something like 50,000 people, a tiny thing. then all of a sudden after the civil war, it's 700,000. and all because the needs of war drove these increases, the need for civilian bureaucracies of various sorts. i think that is a process that
7:59 am
continues to offer to one of the unfortunate things is that at all times reform can only be brought about a military threat in competition because people are kind of new headed and a lot of times they are stuck in certain ways. and unless there hit on head by a two by four, and meaning by the threat of real military danger, they are just not going to do the things that are necessary. >> thank you. [applause] >> this event was hosted by politics and prose bookstore here in washington, d.c.. to find out more visit politics prose.com. >> booktv is on twitter. all us for greater updates on our programming and news on nonfiction books and authors. twitter.com/booktv.

86 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on